This interview is part of our new Blockchain In Healthcare series, where we interview the world's leading thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between blockchain and healthcare.
In this interview we speak with Andre Fialho, co-founder of Pact Care, to understand how his company is using blockchain to transform the healthcare business, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What’s the story behind Pact Care? Why and how did you begin?
AF: The idea for Pact Care started in 2016 when we noticed the combination of two important trends: 1) the transformation of how health care was being delivered – from hospitals to homes and 2) the advancements in key enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledger. Based on these trends, we positioned ourselves to help healthcare organizations focused on remote healthcare. Our starting point was the development of a patient facing interface for chronic patients (Florence chatbot), together with a data exchange backend for this interface to communicate with existing IT systems in a secure and interoperable way.
2. Please describe your use case and how Pact Care uses blockchain:
AF: One of our use cases is in the physiotherapy space. There is a need today to change how this type of care is reimbursed so that the actual value and outcomes delivered to these patients (aka Patient Reported Outcomes – PROMs) are taken into account. However, there are still several challenges around the quality and trust in these PROMs data that hinders new models of reimbursement.
“PhysioTrust” is a blockchain-based platform that enables mutual trust and cooperation between physiotherapists, insurance companies and patients, by allowing: 1) secure and transparent collection/exchange of PROMs data, and 2) transparent and automated reimbursement contracting (smart contracts) based on the quality metrics achieved.
3. Could you share a customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has your service done for them?
Our hypothesis is that an innovative decentralized approach for data collection and management (where patients are always in control of their data) will enable these organizations to objectively and transparently show insurance companies the quality of their services. This will be the starting point towards deploying new models of reimbursement based on quality metrics.
4. What other blockchain use cases in healthcare are you excited about?
AF: We are generally excited about blockchain use cases that enable breaking data silos and that put patients in more control over their data. On one hand, there is a large need to make healthcare more efficient and safer. Data exchange is key for this, as it enables different teams to collaborate better and to save time and resources, avoiding the duplication of efforts. On the other hand, patients are rightfully demanding more control over their sensitive health data and how it is used.
5. Where will Pact Care be in 5 years?
AF: In 5 years from now, we see ourselves being a well-established organization in the domain of remote health data exchange between patients and their care teams. We will further develop our expertise in aggregating data from different patient generated data sources (e.g. from connected devices, home sensors, etc) and in being able to generate actionable insights to support safer and more efficient care. Blockchain will naturally be one of the core technology stacks supporting these goals.